By Thonie Hevron
When I first began writing, I believed that I needed to be moved by the muse. Okay. You can stop laughing now. But that’s really what I thought. Now that I’ve been writing seriously for a few years, I think I can safely say that my muse comes alive when I sit down to work. Oh sure, there are days that it calls in sick. But those are the times I sit and write anyway. Chances are when I look back on the words, they won’t be as bad as they seemed. There are also days when I just throw up my hands and put my energy into promotions. We’ll talk more about that down the road.
In those early days, I felt like I needed something more to help coax the muse along. I used scented candles and classical music to put me in the mood. I learned early in life that alcohol is the big deceiver. Work done under the influence never stood the test of daylight. Even a single glass of wine turned my words into vague ramblings. So, I never drink and write.
I floundered through my first book over the course of a decade. The second, Intent to Hold, took a year. Why? I’d found my rhythm—at five-freakin’ o’clock in the morning. Newly retired, I’d found there were many things I wanted to do during the day. Foremost was to write this story that was rattling around in my head. So, I wrote from 5 A.M. until 7 A.M. Just wrote. I made it work, no time for candles or nice music. Just get the damn words down. Then, I had all afternoon to do my other stuff—sometimes promotions, social media and such. Sometimes, playtime—hubby and I taking the dog to the beach, for instance. Sometimes, chores, even.
The third book, With Malice Aforethought, has taken almost three years. I’ve identified the book’s ambushes and a battle plan to combat them. Now, beginning my fourth novel, I’ve set a schedule. While it is fluid (depending on a lot of things) I’ve figured out that I don’t need the rituals I used before. If I treat it like work, I’ll get it done. That’s my ritual. Just put my butt in the chair and type. I guess I have to qualify this by saying that I write best at home in my little office. I know writers who get in the flow at their favorite coffee shop. I get too distracted. That’s not for me. It’s my office. Period.
Of course, a good cup of coffee is a plus!
What inspires you? Coaxes the muse? What do you need to write? August’s guest posters will share their thoughts. Feel free to add a comment. Maybe you’ll inspire someone else. It could happen.